Heading to the National Spelling Bee: Northwood boy wins N.D. championship and moves on to nationalsTy Korsmo of Northwood can say the alphabet backwards in four seconds, but North Dakota’s champion speller probably won’t have to do that this week as he competes in the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
By: By Chuck Haga , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Ty Korsmo of Northwood can say the alphabet backwards in four seconds, but North Dakota’s champion speller probably won’t have to do that this week as he competes in the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
The 12-year-old home-schooled seventh-grader is one of 278 young people gathered for the national spell-down, which started Tuesday with a computer spelling test. Scores from that test will be factored into results of two preliminary on-stage rounds on Wednesday to determine semifinalists.
The semifinal round will begin at 9 a.m. Central Daylight Time on Thursday, with the championship round beginning at 7 p.m. CDT.
Preliminary rounds will be streamed live on ESPN3.com today Wednesday, according to bee organizers. Semifinals are scheduled to be broadcast live Thursday morning on ESPN2, with the championship round broadcast live on ESPN Thursday night.
Ty’s parents, Debbie and Mark Korsmo, farm just south of Northwood and home-school Mark and three other children.
Ty enjoys playing with Legos, reading, playing outside, practicing tae kwon do and working on his spelling. He frequently listens for hours at a time to words spoken on CDs, spelling them and checking himself against accompanying word lists.
His favorite word: humuhumunukunukuapuaa, a Hawaiian word for a reef fish found off the islands.
He has always enjoyed reading, he said in an interview after winning the state spelling bee in March, and he attributes some of his spelling ability to seeing a lot of words.
But he is far from desk-bound. He is a state 4-H champion in outdoor skills display, and he told his mother a year ago that he might like to be “an underwater archaeologist” when he grows up.
Ty placed in the top 10 at the state spelling bee each of the past four years and won the state championship in March. His winning word in Bismarck was temerity, a noun defined in Webster’s as foolish or rash boldness, foolhardiness or recklessness.
His competitors come from every state and U.S. territory and eight other countries, about evenly divided between boys and girls with an average age of 13. The youngest — and youngest ever Scipps national competitor — is 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., who told the Associated Press, “I close my eyes and visualize the letters as I spell them.”
Five Minnesotans — from Greenfield, Aurora, Rochester, Baxter and Fairmont — also are participating in the national bee.
Chuck Haga is a reporter
at the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum